Revealed: Why Mumbai Indians snatched away captaincy from Rohit Sharma before IPL 2024
Hardik Pandya will lead Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024.
Rohit Sharma was unceremoniously removed from captaincy by his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians ahead of the IPL 2024 season. Instead, MI traded in Hardik Pandya from Gujarat Titans in an all-cash deal and named him captain.
This decision of MI to remove their five-time IPL-winning captain in this way didn’t sit well with the MI fans and social media was filled with ugly posts slamming the MI management for this decision. However, Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher reckoned it was a ‘cricketing decision’ while opening up about it for the first time.
“I think it was purely a cricketing decision. We saw the window period to get Hardik back as a player. For me it’s a transition phase. A lot of people don’t understand in India, people get quite emotional, but you know you take the emotions away from it. I think it’s just more of a cricketing decision that was made and I do think it is going to bring the best out of Rohit as a person as a player. Just let him go out and enjoy and score some good runs,” Mark Boucher said on the Smash Sports podcast.
Rohit scored 268 runs at a strike rate of 120.18 in 2022 when his team finished bottom of the table. In 2023, he did better with 332 runs at 132.80, and his team lost in the second qualifier.
This is the opportunity for Rohit Sharma to step as a player: Mark Boucher
Rohit Sharma was named MI captain in middle of IPL 2013 as he replaced Ricky Ponting at the helm. He pushed the team and won their maiden IPL title that year. Since then, MI have won the title four more times in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020, becoming only the second franchise to win back-to-back IPL titles.
“One thing I did pick up with Ro (Rohit) is that he is a fantastic guy. I mean he’s been captaining for ages and he’s done really well for Mumbai Indians. Now he also leads India as well. It is that he walks into a place and there’s just cameras in it and he’s so busy and he hasn’t had probably the best couple of seasons of late with the bat but he’s done well as a captain.
And I just thought you know when we’re speaking with the whole Mumbai Indians group, we thought that maybe this is the opportunity for him to step as a player. We believe he got some great value to add and just go out there and actually enjoy it without the hype of being a captain,” Boucher said.
“He is still going to captain India so that hype’s going be there but when he steps into the IPL maybe just taking that extra bit of pressure off him as a captain an maybe we get the best out of Rohit Sharma. We want to see him playing with a smile on his face, spending a bit of time with his beautiful family,” Boucher added.
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